The pig farmers of the UK are today trotting on parliament to protest about the rising cost of feeding their porkers. Led by mascot Winnie, a veteran porcine lobbyist, the farmers took their grievances to be heard by those that are equaller than the rest of us (and thus possibly in a position to help).
The gist of their complaint is that the cost of feed has gone up substantially whilst the price of pork remains the same: farmers simply will not be able to continue in business if they are unable to charge higher prices for their meat, and in this respect they are at the mercy of the supermarkets. Foreign pork has nothing like the controls or high standards imposed on it, and so is imported cheaply and snapped up by the big boys. And thanks to the Foot and Mouth crisis of 2001, the use of (properly treated) pig swill is all but prohibited. Townies we may be, but this latter seems daft in view of the huge amount of food we throw away every year: the food regulations in this country really do range from anal at best to just plain bonkers. But far be it from us to get involved….
The point is that this all makes Londonist very sad. We like to support the underpig, and we like piggies, and we think farmers are heroic for working as hard as they do. Confused by the range of on-line PDF documents (always a bad sign) on the subject, and after a few extremely funny phone calls to completely the wrong people, we found the incredibly helpful Tony York of Pig Paradise, who amongst other things runs pig-keeping courses if you’re stuck for where to go on that romantic break. He reckons that the only way forward for the industry is to raise prices, and for the British public to ‘stand by their ham’. Good food does cost more. And what price the perfect bacon sarnie?!
Piggie piccie courtesy of B.Costin's flickr stream.